Friday, Oct 07, 2022

Mamata Vs CBI: WB CM Claims 'Moral Victory' After SC Bars CBI From Arresting Kolkata Police Chief

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed Kumar to make himself available before the CBI and "faithfully" cooperate with the agency

PTI Photo

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called Supreme Court's order on Kolkata police commissioner a "moral victory".

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed  Kumar to make himself available before the CBI and "faithfully" cooperate with the agency in the investigation of cases arising out of the Saradha chit fund scam probe.

Addressing reporters from the sit-in protest site, Banerjee said CBI-Kolkata police commissioner tussle was nothing but "political vendetta".

"There must be some story behind this. Nobody can dare to speak against (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) Modi. Our's is a mass agitation and we are going to fight it unitedly," the chief minister said.

"We always respect the law and feel that things should run as per the law. But, if someone tries to destroy the pillars on which democracy stands, then there would be nothing left of the democratic process that we are so proud of," Banerjee said.

"We really welcome the [Supreme Court] verdict. It is absolutely correct. Our case is very strong. We never said we will not cooperate. This is a political vendetta," she added.

Slamming the ruling BJP, she alleged that the Centre was misusing agencies under it and interfering in opposition-ruled states.

The chief minister called the CBI versus Kolkata Police row "a constitutional breakdown", saying that there cannot be any big boss in the country.

"Only democracy is the big boss here, Banerjee said.

When asked if she will continue the Dharna, the West Bengal CM said, "Let me talk to my leaders, I don’t go alone. Today Chandrababu Naidu is also coming, I will consult other leaders also. I will also consult Naveen Patnaik Ji, then I will let you know."

Several opposition leaders, including Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu, DMK's Kanimozhi, RJD's Tejaswhi Yadav, have supported Banerjee's protest.

The CBI had on Monday filed a contempt plea in the Supreme Court against the chief secretary of West Bengal, the director general of police and the police commissioner for alleged willful and deliberate violation of apex court orders.

The agency said the non-cooperation of Rajeev Kumar was brought to the notice of the West Bengal DGP. However, neither the DGP nor the police commissioner cooperated, it alleged.

The CBI is investigating the case under a "hostile environment and non-cooperation from the state of West Bengal and its agencies/departments", the petition said.

Kumar, a 1989-batch IPS officer, has been serving as Kolkata's police commissioner since January 2016. He has reportedly not responded to summonses from the CBI in connection with its probes into the Rose Valley and Sarada ponzi scams.

He led the SIT investigation into the scams until 2014 when the agency took over following directions from the Supreme Court. The CBI was slated to question Kumar about documents that allegedly went missing.

(With inputs from agencies)